Asparagus Carbonara

Serves 6

1.5 kg asparagus, freshly picked
400g dried penne pasta
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 free-range egg yolks
150g Parmesan, freshly grated
100g butter
3 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, picked from their stalks

Method: Snap off the tough ends of each asparagus spear. Cut off the tips and put to one side. Slice the remainder of the spears on the angle.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, and add salt. Put the asparagus stalks in the boiling water for 1 minute, add the tips and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the water with a sieve and drain well.

Once the water has returned to the boil, add the pasta, stir to loosen it and boil for about 9 minutes or refer to packet.
Lightly beat the egg yolks with a fork, and season. Add about 2 tablespoons of the grated Parmesan.
Melt the butter in a small thick bottomed pan. When beginning to foam, add the thyme and almost immediately, the drained asparagus. Season and toss for a few seconds.
Drain the penne, and immediately add the hot asparagus and butter. Stir briefly together, then pour in the egg mixture. Toss a little to allow the egg yolks to coat the pasta. Serve immediately, with the remaining Parmesan.